An adventure on the JOIDES Resolution: One year later

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Fig. 1 – (Top) One of the many magnificent sunrises observed by scientists on board the JR; (Bottom) View of the derrick, tower that holds the drill string, from the Bridge Deck, and (Top-left) all Expedition 360 participants. Images credits: William Crawford, Exp. 360 Senior Imaging Specialist; Jiansong Zhang, Exp. 360 Education/Outreach Officer.

Earlier this year Barbara wrote about ‘Life on board of a scientific drilling vessel’. That interview gave some hints in the unique experience my colleagues and I shared on board the Joides Resolution. Now, you might wonder what Joides Resolution (JR) exactly is. The JR is a drilling vessel dedicated to scientific research on ocean and ocean crust dynamics. Different disciplines are involved, from geology (to elucidate the formation of the oceanic crust), to climate change science (to understand how the Earth handled past climatic events), oceanography (to study global water circulation), or microbiology (to track extreme life in rocks forming the ocean floor).Cores of rocks are drilled under the ocean floor, giving scientists a glimpse into Earth’s dynamics. The JR works for the international research program IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program), a marine research collaboration that aims at recovering data recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks, and monitoring subseafloor environments. Continue reading

From the mountain to the lab

Sometimes as a geologist you get to travel and work in some pretty extreme locations. So how did I end up in a caravan halfway up a mountain over 300 km north of the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway, in a place only accessible by helicopter? Well, the most interesting rocks can often be in the hardest places to reach!

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Arriving at the drill site, October 2014

My research is on a magma chamber formed deep down in the Earth’s crust 560 million years ago. As the magma crystallized, crystals settled and formed a series of layers that recorded the evolution within that magma chamber. Understanding these processes is central to my current research project. It just so happens that this fossil magma chamber is somewhere quite hard to reach. Continue reading